Receptive Music Therapy Helps Decrease Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia

July 27, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Many studies have demonstrated that music therapy can relieve behavioral and psychosocial symptoms of dementia, but a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the July 2018 issue of JAMDA found that receptive music therapy is more effective than interactive music therapy. Interactive music therapy involves participants playing musical instruments such as hand bells under the supervision of a licensed therapist or trained healthcare provider, typically in a group setting. Receptive music therapy involves participants listening to their preferred music, usually in a quiet or individual setting, and can be self-administered. This study aimed to compare and evaluate the effects of interactive and receptive music therapies, analyzing data from 38 trials involving 1,418 older adults with dementia that measured the therapies' effects on cognitive function, apathy, anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, agitation, and behavioral problems using a clinical assessment scale.

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